New Music for January 25th 2019
By Paul Wilson | January 25, 2019 4:37 AM
Greg Yasinitsky – “YAZZ Band” – YAZZ Recordings
Greg Yasinitsky (YAZZ) is one of the more accomplished jazz musicians I have ever come across. He is a forty-year musical educator and currently Regent Professor of Jazz Composition and Saxophone at Washington State University. He has played alongside such greats as Ella Fitzgerald, Sara Vaughn, Ray Charles, Randy Brecker, Lou Rawls and Kirk Whalum to name a few. He has received the American Prize for Jazz Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. His accomplishments, frankly, are more than space allows. None of this is worth salt if the music isn’t really likable. So let me make it really simple – YAZZ is a fantastic musician. I thought his compositions for Jazz and Big Band music were arranged in such a way that the wide variety of musicians could meld in and out of the individual measures of each song. Some tracks are hard charging and upbeat, something I really like, and several were more subdued and instead slow and melodic. Regardless of the pace, each song was expertly crafted by one who not only knows how to do so, but by one who also teaches others how to do so. If you like big band and horn driven jazz mixed up together, check out the YAZZ Band. You won’t go wrong.
Overall: 8.5, Sonics: 8